TVP | Texturized Vegetable Protein Benefits + Side Effects

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 08/03/22 •  10 min read
tvp benefits and side effects


Energy: texturized vegetable protein is good for / helps aid digestion, improve irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), improve symptoms of menopause, reduce blood sugar levels

Longevity: texturized vegetable protein is good for / helps improve bone density, lower cholesterol, lower high blood pressure, reducing the risk of developing breast cancer

Appearance: texturized vegetable protein is good for / helps build muscle, weight loss

Texturized vegetable protein is…


Water footprint: likely low, it takes 2,145 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of soybeans / 257 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of soybeans

Carbon footprint: low, 2.0 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of soybeans, a car driving equivalent of 5 miles or 8 kilometers

Destruction: moderate, the two top producing soya producing countries are the US and Brazil, together they produce about 64% of the world’s supply, soya is Brazil’s biggest export by value, there are serious concerns about how much of it is behind deforestation in the Amazon and surrounding regions, however most of the world’s soya is fed to livestock, only 6% of it is eaten directly by humans, eating soy is much better for the environment than eating animal products, soya may also be planted on Amazon land previously deforested for cattle, be sure to buy organic, as pesticides contaminate soil, water, air, etc., for soy it is best to buy products sustainably grown and not products of Brazil

Texturized vegetable protein is…


Kills: none, texturized vegetable protein production does not require any animals to be killed

Harms: none, texturized vegetable protein production does not require any animals to be used

Indirectly kills or harms: none, no animals are indirectly killed or harmed from texturized vegetable protein production as long as toxic chemicals have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as pesticides harm and kill wildlife and ecosystems by contaminating soil, water, air and plants that animals eat

Texturized vegetable protein is…


Health and safety: varies, overall, agriculture continues to be one of the most dangerous industries, farmworkers may be subject to dehydration, heat stroke, unprotected exposure to harmful, toxic chemicals and pesticides, unsafe machinery and clean drinking water may not always accessible

Living conditions: varies, laborers are often exploited, they may face tough working conditions including long hours in the sun and heat performing physically exhausting tasks, labor laws and rights may or may not be in place, even if worker protection exists, employer violations may go unreported, refugees and migrant workers are especially vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment, fearing consequences of job loss or deportation

Wages: varies, generally farmworkers earn meager wages, there are many cases of underpaid agricultural workers, wage theft and no overtime payment or benefits

Texturized vegetable protein…

Is TVP nutritious?

Yes! TVP is high in protein, iron and contains all nine of the essential amino acids the human body needs to function.

Where is most TVP from?

Worldwide, the United States produces the most soy followed by Brazil, Argentina, China, India, Paraguay, Canada and Ukraine. In the United States Iowa reported the largest number of acres planted to certified organic soybeans followed by Minnesota and Michigan. 98% percent of soybean meal is used for animal feed (poultry, hogs and cattle mostly) and only 1% is used to produce food for people. Around 70% of soybeans grown in the United States are used for animal feed, poultry being the number one livestock sector consuming soybeans, followed by hogs, dairy, beef and aquaculture.

Other names for TVP are texturized vegetable protein, textured soy protein, TSP, soy meat and soya chunks.

TVP is gluten free.

glutinous foods have side effects but a gluten free diet can help

Is TVP gluten free? Yes, TVP is gluten free. TVP does not contain gluten.

While celiac disease may not be as rampant as many marketing trends lead us to believe, you may have a gluten sensitivity…

Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include:

There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.

Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List

TVP is a common food allergen: soy.

side effects of common food allergens like milk, wheat, soy, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs and crustaceans

Is TVP a common food allergen? Yes, TVP is a common food allergen: soy. Many people experience allergic reactions to TVP.

A group of the eight major allergenic foods, AKA the Big-8, include:

These foods account for about 90% of all food allergies in the United States.

Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. 

Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.

Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List

TVP likely has a low water footprint.

water footprints of food and products

Does TVP have a high or low water footprint? TVP likely has a relatively low water footprint compared to other foods.

What is the water footprint of TVP? It takes 2,145 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of soybeans / 257 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of soybeans (TVP is defatted soy flour).

Did you know that water is a finite, non-renewable resource?

We must do what we can to conserve fresh water and a major way to reduce needless water consumption is to change the way we eat. That’s not to say we need to reduce our water intake…quite the opposite. It’s important for our health to drink lots of water and eat foods that hydrate. The kind of water conservation we’re talking about here is behind the scenes.

How much water does it take to produce an apple? A serving of rice? A steak dinner?

We need to be aware of “water footprinst”. That is, the amount of fresh water utilized in the production or supply of goods we consume. As it turns out it takes significantly more water to yield foods that come from animals than foods that come from plants. Imagine how much water a cow needs to consume to generate a piece of beef. Not only how much water a single cow drinks, rather all the water that went into producing the crops that the cow ate.

Find out how much water your food consumes with this: Water Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

TVP has a low carbon footprint.

carbon footprints of food and food emissions

Does TVP have a high or low carbon footprint? TVP likely has a relatively low carbon footprint compared to other foods.

What is the carbon footprint of TVP? It takes around 2.0 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of soybeans, a car driving equivalent of 5 miles or 8 kilometers.

Food not only has a water footprint but also a carbon footprint, known as CO2e, which stands for carbon dioxide equivalent. Since carbon measurements are a bit more difficult to comprehend, it is common to equate CO2e to the distance which a car drives in miles or kilometers.

When calculating carbon emissions, some factors may include…

There are a number of steps we can take to reduce energy output. According to Oxford Martin School researchers, if the world went vegan, eliminating animal-derived products, it could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two thirds and avoid climate damages of $1.5 trillion.

But that’s not all!

It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:

Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

TVP is sustainable (unless soy is from Brazil).

sustainable shopping, for eco friendly brands and products good for the environment

Overall, is TVP eco friendly? Is TVP sustainable?

TVP production is relatively sustainable unless soy is from Brazil.

Be sure to buy non GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc. when using regenerative practices.

A 2018 Oxford University study – which is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet – found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’ as animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland.

Consuming animal products and byproducts is not environmentally friendly and is one of the worst things for the Earth. Not only is meat production wasteful, it causes enormous amounts of pollution. The industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change.

A 2010 United Nations report said that a global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world the worst impacts of climate change.

TVP is vegan.

benefits of vegan food to eat on a vegan diet which helps save animals

Is TVP vegan? Yes, TVP is vegan. Texturized vegetable protein is made from soybeans and not an animal product or byproduct, therefore making it a vegan food. 

Animals of factory farming are suffering. They live in horrific conditions that often include confinement, physical abuse and unnatural environments…so much so that they need to receive antibiotics to keep from getting ill or spreading disease. Growth hormones allow all kinds of animals to become fatter faster and live short lives.

Because we cannot see for ourselves how these animals live and what they endure does not mean it isn’t happening. The meat, poultry and dairy industries do everything they can to distance us from knowing how our food comes to be in order to keep us in the dark about what we support each time we buy animal derived products and byproducts.

Go vegan for animals!

It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.

Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non Vegan Foods List

tvp may have labor issues and human rights concerns.

benefits of buying fair trade, labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

Is TVP a product with laborer concerns?

At this time there have been no major concerns with soy production but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening!

It’s important to stay aware of human rights concerns and worker exploitation that may come with specific brands.

Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized. 

Sadly, many labor concerns exist around the world in both developed and developing countries. We must be vigilant to ensure what we buy is not contributing to industries that are unfair to their valuable workers. Some known problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can even experience harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks. Consequently, laborers can face nausea, dizziness, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke -the leading cause of farmworker death! 

Such mistreatment is like modern day slavery. Workers are often afraid to report issues because they fear it will result in losing their jobs or deportation. 

Fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards. 

We can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade. 


high protein textured vegetable protein

Soy, Soy Foods and Their Role in Vegetarian Diets – NCBI

Science Direct: texturized vegetable protein

Adriane Marie

Hi, I'm Adriane, creator of HEALabel! I organize info for you to comprehensively see how purchases impact health, environment, animals and laborers. Stay aware because you care! Subscribe below to get my weekly newsletter with tips, new info and other ethical consumer insight.